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EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci in no uncertain terms said that his company, contrary to rumors, has no plans to buy a networking hardware vendor or to see its strategic relationship with long-term partner Cisco diminished.
Tucci used his prepared remarks during EMC's Wednesday financial third-quarter 2012 analyst conference to quell rumors that his company planned to acquire Juniper or another networking vendor and to quiet skeptics who think the EMC-Cisco relationship is in jeopardy after VMware, which is majority-owned by EMC, acquired software-defined networking (SDN) developer Nicira.
"For the record, EMC and Cisco have benefited from a decade-long partnership," Tucci said. "My close personal relationship with [Cisco CEO] John Chambers goes back over 20 years, and we enjoy a friendship of trust and confidence in each other that is reflected in how our teams work with each other."
Questions about the EMC-Cisco relationship came to the forefront after VMware in July acquired Nicira, a developer of SDN technology that has the potential to virtualize many of the functions of high-end networking technology, such as that built by Cisco, and run it on commodity hardware.
That move, plus Cisco's development of a rival SDN technology with possible storage implications via Insieme, a stealth company wholly funded by Cisco, fueled speculation the two would part ways.
Such a move would also call into question the viability of VCE, the EMC-Cisco joint-venture company that prebuilds fully configured, converged infrastructures with server, storage and networking technologies integrated into a single package.
Concerns about a rupture were further fanned by a report last week by stock market news site Benzinga, which speculated that EMC was planning to acquire Juniper networks.
None of these will happen, Tucci said.
"Some have called into question the viability of our relationship with Cisco in VCE because of VMware's entrance into the networking space," he said. "The reality is that software-defined networking complements the network infrastructure, and EMC has no plans to drive deeper into networking by acquiring a networking hardware company. We believe continued innovation in the network infrastructure by a partner ecosystem will enable higher performance transmission of data in the next-generation data centers. In short, we are committed to work closely and cooperatively with Cisco, our premier partner."
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